What is Kyphoplasty?

As you age, your bones begin to lose density, leaving them more prone to fracturing. When it comes to the vertebrae in your spine, these fractures may develop over time, leading to increasing pain as well as a more hunched appearance. One of the best ways to restore structure to your compromised vertebra and relieve your pain is through kyphoplasty.

At Comprehensive Pain Management, Drs. Do Chan and Boris Shwartzman specialize in solving the myriad issues that can crop up in your musculoskeletal system that cause you pain and limit your life. As part of our state-of-the-art services, we offer kyphoplasty, which is one of the most effective tools for addressing compression fractures along your spine.

Here’s a look at when kyphoplasty is called for and what we accomplish during the procedure.

A vertebral breakdown

As you get older, your bones naturally begin to lose their strength and density, largely at the hands of osteoporosis, which affects 50% of women and 25% of men. This loss leaves your bones more brittle and prone to fracturing, including the bones that make up your vertebrae.

These compression fractures generally occur over time and largely affect the vertebrae in your thoracic spine (midback) although they can develop in your lumbar spine (low back), as well. The breakdown typically affects the vertebral wall that faces inward, which is what creates the hunching appearance that’s so often associated with osteoporosis.

While osteoporosis accounts for the large majority of compression fractures, certain cancers, cancer treatments, and acute fractures can also cause a collapse in your vertebrae, which can all benefit from kyphoplasty.

Straightening out

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which our doctors are able to bring your vertebra back up to its original height in order to relieve your discomfort and address the curvature in your spine.

Our doctors perform your kyphoplasty on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home the same day. When you come in, we place you on a table face down and ensure your comfort with anesthesia. Once you’re ready, the doctor uses fluoroscopy (X-ray) guidance to insert a needle into your vertebra. Once in place, they release a balloon inside the structure and inflate it, returning your vertebra to its original height.

Next, our doctor fills the newly restored cavity with bone cement, which dries quickly, holding your vertebra in place. If you have several compression fractures or collapsed vertebrae, our doctor simply repeats the procedure wherever needed.

Kyphoplasty can take less than an hour, and when it’s done, our team ensures that you’re feeling well enough to go home. Once you’re home, you should follow our postop instructions and plan on resting for a few days.

If you’d like to learn more about how a kyphoplasty procedure can help relieve your chronic back pain, please contact one of our offices in Attleboro or Franklin, Massachusetts, or South Kingstown or Warwick, Rhode Island.

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